• Napoles asks to be excused from hearings, cites fatigue

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    Janet Lim-Napoles wants to be excused from bail hearings in connection with a P172-million plunder case that she and Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile are facing before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan.

    The plunder case arose from a  P10-billion pork barrel scam of which Napoles is the alleged mastermind.

    “Accused has been attending the bail hearings in this case for more than a month already and she has been experiencing mental and physical fatigue in going to the Sandiganbayan from her detention facility in Camp Bagong Diwa [in Bicutan, Taguig City, Metro Manila]and back,” her lawyers said in a pleading.

    The fatigue is in addition to anxieties from being a prisoner, read the two-page pleading prepared on Monday but filed on Wednesday before the Sandiganbayan’s Third Division.

    The division, which is hearing her petition for bail, earlier directed her to attend the bail hearings.

    “Aside from being diabetic, accused had undergone a major operation late April 2014 for the removal of her uterus and both ovaries, and is still recovering,” the defense said.

    Napoles then asked the court to excuse her from attending the bail hearings and other proceedings in the plunder case, until further orders from the court.

    The exception is when the court directs her for purposes of the graft arraignment, identification and other such purposes in her waiver of appearance.

    Aside from the plunder charge, Napoles is named in all 15 counts of graft against Enrile.

    The arraignment for graft is set for today, after pending motions have been resolved by the court.

    Enrile has been in the Philippine National Police General Hospital since his surrender.

    Also charged with plunder is his former aide lawyer Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes who, like Napoles, is detained at the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology female dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa..

    Napoles’ nephew Ronald John Lim and employee John Raymund de Asis remain at large.

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